Reader Rating: 9.8
SCOC Rating: 9.8
It’s no surprise that a member of the Best Line in Hockey got a nearly perfect rating across the board, as Brad Marchand had another career year and proved once again why he has become an elite player.
Marchand finished fifth in voting for the Hart Trophy, but he was arguably the best Bruin on the ice and their MVP this season.
During the season, he recorded his 300th NHL goal. In 53 games, he racked up 29 goals and 40 assists for 69 points – his fifth best season points-wise and best in terms of points per game; he also led the team in goals, assists, and points.
Marchand had 21 games in which he registered two or more points and three of those games were four-point games for the 12-year veteran. He also had one hat trick and put up four points that same night.
If this had been a normal season and Marchand played 80ish games, he would hit 105 points at his 2021 pace.
But the 56-game calendar was anything but normal for the Boston Bruins.
For one, the Bruins found themselves without David Pastrnak as he was recovering from surgery for the first handful of games.
No worries — Marchand contributed 10 points with four goals during those seven games in January.
Although it felt the team relied too much on scoring from the top line, at least that line was doing plenty of that scoring.
Marchand dominated around the net and was dangerous in the slot, especially with his dangles and toe-drags around the opposing defensemen. He did have a little lull in March, but his offensive efforts led to goals for his linemates.
Marchand was a BEAST on special teams. He boasted 18 power-play points with four power-play goals during the regular season. He showed incredible patience to walk in and pick a pocket of the net or be ready to capitalize on a rebound opportunity. Marchand’s positioning was spot on.
But more impressive was his penalty kill. His tandem with Patrice Bergeron really felt like a man-advantage when the two were out there and Marchand used the extra space to explode up ice.
PK after PK, it felt like at any time the Bruins could pick up a shorthanded goal from Marchand because of the offense he created.
And he ended up with four shorthanded goals because of it.
This might be his best shorty of the year:
Marchand continued to rack up power-play goals and points in the postseason. The winger netted eight goals during the 2020-21 playoffs, and five of those goals were on the power play.
He picked up two game-winning goals, including the overtime heroics of Round One’s Game 2 against the Washington Capitals; he had three goals that series.
Marchand registered at least one point in each game of the New York Islanders series. He accumulated five goals and four assists, including another OT winner and the highlight-reel goal below:
There was no shortage of production from Marchand and the top line in the playoffs.
Eleven out of 17 goals in the Islanders series came from Marchand, Pastrnak and Patrice Bergeron combined. Marchand did everything right in that series, but one line can’t carry a team.
The season may have ended in disappointment, but Marchand’s personal season was filled with accomplishments that showed how he just keeps getting better and more valuable each year.
It doesn’t get much better than that.